News & Brews February 17, 2023

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Shapiro calls for repeal of death penalty

Yesterday, Gov. Josh Shapiro announced “he will not allow Pennsylvania to execute any inmates while he is in office and called for the state’s lawmakers to repeal the death penalty,” the AP reports. His moratorium on using the death penalty is a continuation of the same policy Gov. Wolf used throughout his two terms.

Fetterman checks himself into Walter Reed for clinical depression

On Wednesday evening, Sen. John Fetterman checked himself into Walter Reed National Military Medical Center to be treated for clinical depression. His office said that while Fetterman “has experienced depression off and on throughout his life, it only became severe in recent weeks.” He went to Walter Reed on the recommendation of the attending physician of the United States Congress. We hope Sen. Fetterman receives the care he needs that will help him.

EPA chief visits East Palestine, Ohio

Yesterday, EPA Administrator Michael Regan visited the site of the train derailment that occurred on Feb. 3 in East Palestine, Ohio, just across the Pennsylvania border. As residents continue to be deeply concerned over the safety of the water, soil, and air given the release of toxic chemicals, Regan is “asking” people to “trust the government.” For many, those words are, understandably, not reassuring. Also yesterday, Gov. Shapiro announced his administration will conduct its own water testing in the area, continuing for the coming months. We sincerely hope the residents affected get the answers they deserve.

Pa. Republicans ‘find new love for mail-in voting’

PennLive has a story on how some Pennsylvania Republicans, still reeling from last year’s election losses, are coming to terms with the need to embrace mail-in voting. Former GOP gubernatorial nominee Doug Mastriano, for example, said of his campaign, “We probably should have used [mail=in voting] as the Democrats had, because I don’t see how we win elections without embracing that idea.” Yet, at least one observer wondered if Pa. Republicans might have trouble convincing voters to use mail-in voting after years of criticizing it.

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